We have developed a series of short films offering a unique insight into the experiences of Deaf people using health services in Scotland.
The films are now available on YouTube as a series called Positive Signs. They highlight a number of challenges faced by the Deaf community, in particular British Sign Language (BSL) users, when accessing services.
The films aim to raise awareness, and promote a greater understanding, of the particular needs and culture of the Deaf community. It is hoped the films will help improve mental health and wellbeing for patients.
Paul Hull, Health Improvement Practitioner, said: “There are many barriers to healthcare for Deaf people, including accessing mental health services.
“Deaf people are particularly susceptible to mental health difficulties so it is vital that healthcare staff are aware of the issues deaf people may face when trying to engage with services.
“Positive Signs was launched at Glasgow’s Lighthouse and was attended by representatives from the Deaf community who played a key role in working with us to develop the videos.
“The feedback we have received has been very encouraging and shows a real optimism that the videos will play a role in further improving access to health services.”
Trevor Lakey, Health Improvement and Inequalities Manager, said: “We are really pleased with the responses to the Positive Signs films from our launch event, and want to thank everyone involved in bringing this project to fruition.
“The launch night discussions have helped us gather a range of additional ideas for sharing and using the films – both with health and care staff, and also for use by Deaf community members, community and voluntary groups.”
This training resource is part of a range of activities underway in response to the BSL Scotland Act which support improved access, self-management and maintenance of good mental health for Deaf people.
The films, produced with the social enterprise Media Education, can be accessed via our You Tube channel www.nhsggc.org.uk/PositiveSigns